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Bolivia's president calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel

August 7, 2014 -- TeleSUR English, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Bolivia's leader Evo Morales is among a list of recognised names including former Honduras president Mel Zelaya and Nobel peace prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel calling for support to the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

Morales has officially signed on as a supporter of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

In an open letter released on August 6, Morales heads a long list of signatories from Latin America and elsewhere condemning "apartheid and genocide" against Palestinians, and calls on Israel to respect United Nations resolutions. Among those listed as signatories include former president of Honduras Mel Zelaya, Nobel peace prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano, Cuban musician Silvio Rodríguez and teleSUR president Patricia Villegas (see full letter below).

According to the website of the BDS Movement, the BDS campaign is an initiative of 170 Palestinian civil society launched in 2005. The campaign -- modelled on the campaign against apartheid South Africa -- calls for boycott of Israeli products, divestment from Israeli companies and sanctions against the Israeli state to assert pressure so that Israel "complies with international law and Palestinian rights".

The campaign has attracted the support of celebrities including Elvis Costello, Pink Floyd´s Roger Waters, British group Massive Attack as well as world-renowned physicist Steven Hawking.

In late July, Morales called Israel a "terrorist state" and placed Israel under its list of terrorist countries. Five Latin American countries have recalled their Ambassadors in protest of the Israeli assault on Gaza.

In Defence of Palestine

Faced with the tragic events our Palestinian brothers and sisters are living through in Gaza, the Network in Defense of Humanity (REDH) assumes our responsibility and expresses the following:

We take up as our own the words of compañero Evo Morales, a founder of the Network in Defense of Humanity and President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, who has declared Israel to be a terrorist state.

We express our absolute repulsion at the genocide being carried out against the Palestinian people by a state founded on dispossession and the colonial occupation of Palestinian territories.

We pay recognition to, and express our solidarity with the Palestinian people and its resistance organizations, especially in Gaza, in their heroic struggle against Israeli attempts to exterminate them and seize the small pieces that remain of what was once their homeland.

We condemn the imperialist role of the United States that politically, financially and militarily sponsors and backs Israel, in the face of the extraordinary inaction of the UN Security Council whose resolutions on the question of Palestine are systematically violated with complete impunity by Washington. The United States is once again demonstrating the hypocrisy and cynicism with which it has acted throughout history, threatening sanctions and interventions against the peoples of Latin America, Africa and Eurasia who defend their sovereignty at the same time as its backs the actions of Israel.

We denounce the complicity in what is occurring, by default in some cases, of the governments that make up the European Union, as well as the unconditional subordination of the media oligarchs to Washington’s dictates. Enough of calling it a war when in fact it is a genocide being perpetrated by one of the best equipped armies in the world against a people whose defensive resources are infinitely inferior in quantity and quality!

We encourage you to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] campaign against the terrorist state of Israel, as it is time for active and creative solidarity that goes beyond statements of condemnation.

We have failed the more than 1600 people killed in Palestine over the last few weeks, as well as the more than 9000 injured since the start of the terrorist operation hypocritically named “Protective Edge”.

We demand an end to apartheid and genocide, as well as to the walls and illegal settlements. We call on the governments of the world to demand that Israel complies with UN Security Council resolutions that oblige it to withdraw from Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, return to the borders that existed prior to the “Six Day War” (1967) and guarantee the right of return for Palestinian refugees, as per Security Council Resolution No. 242, November 22, 1967, a resolution that has been consistently ignored by the state of Israel.

We call for a real political solution to the conflict in Palestine on the basis of dialogue, negotiation and the existence of two states with equal rights and delineated borders that are internationally recognized. We believe this solution must begin with the immediate lifting of the blockade on Gaza and the liberation of all Palestinian political prisoners.

We congratulate the governments of ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our Americas], Mercosur [Common Market of the South] and other governments of the South for their position of solidarity against the barbaric actions of Israel in Gaza.

We adopt as our own the words of the revolutionary, Nelson Mandela: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

We affirm that Israel has morally and politically lost this battle in the face of the brave Palestinian people and the growing condemnation by the peoples of the world of a “criminal” state that violates international law. The unbreakable Palestinian resistance will be rewarded, sooner rather than later, with the smiles of their children in a free homeland.

Against Israeli terrorism and US imperialism, in defense of the right to self-determination for Palestine and all the peoples of the world!

Initial signatories

Evo Morales, Bolivia; Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Argentina; Pablo González Casanova, México; Eduardo Galeano, Uruguay; Roberto Fernández Retamar, Cuba; Federico Mayor Zaragoza, España; Silvio Rodríguez, Cuba; Luis Arce Catacora, Bolivia; Gianni Vattimo, Italia; Gabriela Rivadeneira, Ecuador; Istvan Meszaros, Hungría/Reino Unido; Samir Amin, Egipto; Alfonso Sastre, País Vasco; Nardi Suxo, Bolivia; Enrique Dussel, México; Marta Harnecker, Chile; Carmen Bohorquez, Venezuela; Cesar Navarro, Bolivia; Miguel Barnet , Cuba; Franz Hinkelammert, Alemania; Héctor Arce Zaconeta, Bolivia; Piedad Cordoba, Colombia; Reverendo Raúl Suarez, Cuba; Martin Almada, Paraguay; Fernando Rendón, Colombia; Graziella Pogolloti, Cuba; Sacha Llorenti, Bolivia; Ana Esther Ceceña, México; Luis Britto, Venezuela; Rafael Cancel Miranda, Puerto Rico; Atilio Boron, Argentina; Theotonio Dos Santos, Brasil ; Alfredo Rada, Bolivia; Piedad Cordoba, Colombia, Farruco Sesto, Venezuela; Ángel Guerra, Cabrera, Cuba/ Mexico, Juan Carlos Trujillo, Bolivia; Mel Zelaya; Honduras; Hildebrando Pérez Grande, Perú; Patricia Villegas, Colombia/Venezuela; Maria Nela Prada, Bolivia; Stella Calloni, Argentina; Omar González, Cuba;; Hugo Moldiz, Bolivia; Pascual Serrano, España;; Raúl Pérez Torres, Ecuador; Obispo Raúl Vera, México; Joao Pedro Stedile, Brasil; Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Portugal; Rodrigo Álvarez Cambras, Cuba; Socorro Gomes, Brasil; Katu Arkonada, País Vasco/Bolivia.

Five LA nations withdraw ambassadors from Israel, Venezuela offers Gaza aid, refuge

By Raul Connolly

August 2, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- El Salvador joined four other Latin American countries in recalling its ambassador from Tel Aviv in protest against Israel’s bloody attack on the Gaza Strip, International Business Times reported on July 30.

Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru have all recalled their diplomatic representatives to Israel.

The Chilean foreign ministry expressed “great concern and dismay” at “a collective punishment against the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza, does not respect fundamental rules of international humanitarian law”.

The Brazilian government recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv on July 23, the Wall Street Journal said the next day. Brazil's foreign ministry said: “We strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force by Israel in the Gaza Strip, from which large numbers of civilian casualties, including women and children, resulted.”

Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino said of his nation’s July 18 decision to withdraw its ambassador: “We condemn the Israeli military incursion into Palestinian territory, we require cessation of operations and indiscriminate attacks against civilians.”

Meanwhile, Venezuela said it was launching an initiative to send relief aid to Gaza as a “testament of solidarity”, VenezuelAnalysis reported on July 31. The article said it was unclear how the aid will reach Gaza, given Israel maintains a strict blockade and have blocked shipments of humanitarian aid in the past.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also said Venezuela would build a shelter for Palestinian child survivors of the war.

For it's part, Bolivia has declared Israel “a terrorist state”, AFP reported on July 30.

Bolivia ended a visa exemption agreement with Israel in protest over its offensive in Gaza. President Evo Morales said this “means, in other words, we are declaring [Israel] a terrorist state”.

In mid-July, Morales filed a request with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prosecute Israel for “crimes against humanity”.

Like Venezuela, Bolivia cut diplomatic ties with Israel in 2009 over its crimes against Palestinians. On July 19, the Venezuelan government said Israel had “initiated a higher phase of its policy of genocide and extermination with the ground invasion of Palestinian territory, killing innocent men, women, girls and boys”.

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